Shrink Your Freezer to Save Energy for FREE!





Introduction: Shrink Your Freezer to Save Energy for FREE!

So you got a full-size freezer or deep-freeze, but you don't use all the space. Whether you rent or may need the space later you don't have to pay for that wasted space. So I'm going to teach you NEUTRALLOADING. The simple idea of loading insulating material to avoid paying to cool or heat air.

Step 1: Materials.

1.Several plastic grocery bags.
2.Styrofoam peanuts
3.Packaging tape.

Who said 2 wrongs don't make a right? Rather than throwing out those evil plastic bags and non-biodegradable styrofoam peanuts you can reuse them to save energy.

Simply fill one plastic sack with peanuts and then use another bag to cover the gap making a Styrofoam pillow. You can double-bag or use plastic bags as filler also. Seal the ends with clear packaging tape and your done. Make enough pillows to fill the unused space in your freezer or deep-freeze.

Step 2: Final Results.

Now throw your insulating pillows into your freezer or deep-freeze making sure to leave space for your fan. Make sure to leave plenty of circulation room. I prefer to fill the front half and leave a space behind so everything is evenly chilled. Putting things like icecream directly in front of the fan are great for fast freezing and prevents thawing crystals forming in the food.




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I like the idea of styro-peanuts swap. Your idea fixes an immediate emptiness problem. However I think packages sized with empty food containers would be a better swap option than a large block as you rotate food in and out. Fill your empty food boxes, wrap/label so you don't think they contain food as you swap in & out.

Unfortunately, I am a fan of filling my freezer with food and here's how I do it on a budget.

I do bulk cooking sessions-spaghetti, pinto beans, meat loafs, cakes, cobbler and place in 3 cup freezer containers and place in freezer. I fix mini tv dinners with meatloaf/chicken loaf, peas, carrots or other veg combination. The 3-cup containers will hold 4 single food portions or 1 tv dinner. I usually freeze only one item in container and add different veggies at time reheated.

Cooking a large veg soup pot or meat stew makes a good cheap one dish meal with healthy options. PS. Potatoes don't freeze well in soups, stews, or tv dinners. Serve potatoes freshly cooked on the side and add just like you crumble crackers into the soup.

I freeze 2 cups of milk in 2 cup freezer containers as they are the right size for a double batch of cake or cobbler cooking options.

I do layers of spiral ham between two layers of waxed paper and use ziplock freezer bags. Using your empty pizza boxes would make a neat stacking option. You could also place individually wrapped desserts inside those pizza boxes.Use paper tape and a magic marker to label and date contents. Please remember to date your food when you place in the freezer, first in-first out.

Oddly enough I freeze ice cubes with fresh herbs combo's that I use in cooking. I also freeze small containers of fruit juice or tea for use in pitchers in hot weather.

And yep, finally, I have 10 ice cube trays in my freezer and I try to keep them filled.

I fix diy freezer bags of ice if I know company is coming so I don't have to buy ice.

Now, having said all this, where did I store those peanuts? I've got an empty space that I need to fill until I can get cooking my next day off work!

Stacking frozen water in yr freezer seems the best idea. If you need space in yr freezer, just remove as much bottles as needed and stack them in yr cooling space (where the butter, milk, soda and left overs are) That will help keep that space cool, without needing extra energy

counterproductive idea. With water jugs, you are paying to keep useless mass cold. only makes sense to fill a freezer with food you want frozen and/or more insulation.

well, obviously I never did a study on it and you might well be right, still it beats just keeping air, but I will give the insulation material a try too. Got masses of chips that come in boxes with stuff I arder

Rather than just filling space with insulating materials it would make a lot more sense to add insulation to the non cooling walls of the freezer. that way you are actually decreasing the heat gain of the frozen items.

yes, the food should be surrounded (not on one side) as much as possible by insulation, barring being difficult to access and prolonging open-door-time.

We get a lot of peanuts here at work, so I just did this today with two large bags (since my freezer is pretty sparse), and I also have a lot of gel packs that have been in there for quite some time.  Hopefully it helps some.

That's a nice point about loosing less cold air when the door is open, but maintaining something at temperature is, pretty much by definition, a zero-energy-exchange situation. Unsealed ice will sublimate and cause defrosting cycles, but that's about it. To really shrink a refrigerated compartment, you have to seal the insulation to the inside walls, much as you would insulate a house. You want to minimize the surface area of the cold space in order to have the least heat leaking into it.

Exactly. You don't have to leave the ice unsealed though, fill milk or other beverage bottles not quite full then after they freeze, put the lid back on. Putting the insulation around the inside walls of the compartment is indeed the best solution to increase insulation, and it should be a closed cell or at least solid backed insulation with the backing facing inward towards the food. Personally I prefer freezing ice instead for emergency cooling but lining all interior walls except the one with the coils in it is the most efficient. Both could be done if there is enough space left, or the other solution I don't see mentioned is to buy only a large enough freezer, or keep more food in it since that's why freezers come in fairly large sizes relative to the few convenience meals pictured.

Something similar to this can be done with toilets. You fill a plastic bottle with nuts and bolts or other heavy things and seal the top. Place this in the tank of your toilet where it is not in the way of the mechanics and you save water every time you flush. (if anyone wants to use this idea in the Keep the Bottle contest, go ahead, just mention me in the ible)